Nympholepsy Nym"pho*lep`sy (n[i^]m"f[-o]*l[e^]p`s[y^]), n. [Gr. ny`mfh a nymph + lamba`nein to seize.] A species of demoniac enthusiasm or possession coming upon one who had accidentally looked upon a nymph; ecstasy. [R.] --De Quincey. [1913 Webster]

The nympholepsy of some fond despair. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • nympholepsy — (n.) frenzy or rapture supposed to take hold of a man upon gazing on a nymph, 1775, coined by Richard Chandler, in Travels in Greece, from NYMPH (Cf. nymph), on model of EPILEPSY (Cf. epilepsy), with second element from stem of Gk. lambanein to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • nympholepsy — [nim′fō lep΄sē, nim′fəlep΄sē] n. [< Gr nympholēptos, seized by nymphs (< nymphē + lēptos, seized < lambanein, to seize, assume: see LEMMA1), infl. by EPILEPSY] 1. in ancient times, a state of frenzy that was believed to seize any man who …   English World dictionary

  • nympholepsy — noun Etymology: nympholept, from Greek nympholēptos frenzied, literally, caught by nymphs, from nymphē + lambanein to seize more at latch Date: 1775 1. a demonic enthusiasm held by the ancients to seize one bewitched by a nymph 2. a frenzy of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nympholepsy — nympholeptic /nim feuh lep tik/, adj. /nim feuh lep see/, n., pl. nympholepsies. 1. an ecstasy supposed by the ancients to be inspired by nymphs. 2. a frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable. [1765 75; formed on NYMPHOLEPT, on the model… …   Universalium

  • nympholepsy — noun /ˈnɪmfəˌlɛpsi/ A frenzied state of (usually erotic) emotion, especially concerning something or someone unattainable. If young persons of both sexes were brought together in the honest practical relations of organized labor, we should see no …   Wiktionary

  • nympholepsy — Demoniac frenzy, especially of an erotic nature. [nympho + G. lepsis, a seizure] * * * nym·pho·lep·sy nim(p) fə .lep sē n, pl sies a frenzy of erotic emotion …   Medical dictionary

  • nympholepsy — nɪmfÉ™lepsɪ n. ecstatic state supposedly caused by nymphs; emotional frenzy …   English contemporary dictionary

  • nympholepsy — [ nɪmfə(ʊ)ˌlɛpsi] noun literary frenzy caused by desire for the unattainable. Derivatives nympholept noun nympholeptic adjective Origin C18: from Gk numpholēptos caught by nymphs , on the pattern of epilepsy …   English new terms dictionary

  • nympholepsy — nym·pho·lep·sy …   English syllables

  • nympholepsy — /ˈnɪmfəlɛpsi/ (say nimfuhlepsee) noun (plural nympholepsies) 1. an ecstasy supposedly inspired by nymphs. 2. a frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable. {blend of nympholept and epilepsy} –nympholeptic /nɪmfəˈlɛptɪk/ (say nimfuh leptik),… …   Australian English dictionary

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